Since early 2000, American screenwriters and Film directors have captured Horror film fanatics world-wide with scintillating remakes of popular Japanese horror movies. With a completely different setting, a somewhat Americanized plot and script in a completely different language, the films still carry the same fascinating concepts and ideas; and it’s these concepts and ideas that have geared these Japanese horror movies to top ranks, years after they’re released. Nonetheless, the horror movies have attracted the attention of American Producers who not only have seen the success of the film, but also appreciate what propels these films to the heights they get to.
Any Horror film director would tell you that a great horror film is more than just awesome sound simulation and orchestration, and eye-candy visual effects, but a great film has got more to do with the story behind the suspense and eerie, cold atmosphere they create for the audience. Japanese screenwriters and directors stick to this fact and crazy-glue and it’s no wonder why American directors remake Japanese films. In Japan, the horror films are more than just your average films; for them they are Japanese traditional stories captured and exposed in beautiful art of film. One such film is “Ringu” – adopted from a novel based on a Japanese ghost folktale and directed by Hideo Nakata – an outstanding Japanese director, and was the highest grossing film in Japan upon release in 1998, not for great cinematography, but the mythical story passed down from generations that fueled it.
American film director, Gore Verbinski just could not pass the opportunity for an American adaption of “Ringu” in 2002, titled “The Ring” and was a huge hit in The U.S, garnering a gross revenue of over 249 Million dollars. With such success of a remake, which film director wouldn’t want such a chance? and true to that, Film and television screenwriter, Stephen Susco not only wrote the remake titled “The Grudge”, but also incorporated Takashi Shimizu, the director of the original film titled “Ju-on”, just one year after its release in 2003. “Ju-on” is themed by a Japanese folktale, “onryn” – a mythological spirit able to exist by its own life and returns to the world to seek vengeance and a tale passed down generations for centuries.
Don’t be surprised if more and more screenwriters and directors join the game and re-produce Japanese horror movies in remarkable American cinematography, keeping the unforgettable stories alive for a wider audience and gathering a loyal fan-base. For these American remakes of Japanese horror movies, the life of the films is re-lived over and over and arguably in a way that captures many more audiences?maybe because of the fact that they are remade in English, or because of the fact that they are remade in the U.S?the capital of world cinema. Notwithstanding, Americans and horror fanatics globally get that dose of thrill they so long for and these remakes deliver it every time.